Rail strike news

Although most of these press releases will repeat information, I thought it best to include all and allow you to find those operators relevant to your area.

Railway prepares for network-wide RMT strike

The railway in Scotland is preparing for network-wide strike action by the RMT union on 21, 23 and 25 June which will severely limit the number of services operating for passengers and freight.

RMT members from Network Rail Scotland and cross-border train operators LNER, CrossCounty, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express will be taking part in the industrial action.

ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper staff are not participating in the strike, but their services will also be disrupted.

The rail industry is working hard to put plans in place to run as many trains as possible for customers on strike days.

The strike will mean a very limited train service will be running as a reduction in available staff, including signallers, will mean many rail lines cannot operate.

The railway will only operate for part of the day on strike dates, with services running from around 07:30 to around 18:30.

Services on the days following strike action will also start later in the morning due to the knock-on impact of industrial action on shift patterns.

On strike days, services in Scotland will be running on some Central Belt and cross-border routes only, including:

  • West Coast Mainline
  • East Coast Mainline
  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High
  • Edinburgh – Bathgate
  • Glasgow – Hamilton/Larkhall
  • Glasgow – Lanark
  • Edinburgh – Glasgow via Shotts.

Passengers can find more information about their journey by visiting National Rail Enquiries or checking with their individual operator.

Avanti West Coast
CrossCountry Trains
Transpennine Express

Caledonian Sleeper
West Coast Railways (The Jacobite).

If you’re unsure who your train operator is, or if you’d like to find out more general information, visit National Rail Enquiries for more details. 

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “We understand the disruption this strike will cause and apologise to passengers for the impact on their journeys.

“We are continuing talks with our trade unions to seek a compromise that would avoid this damaging strike action.

“Our industry has been deeply affected by the pandemic, with passenger numbers still at only 75% of pre-covid levels. We must modernise to put our railway on a sound financial footing for the future and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

“We are working hard to run as many trains as possible on strike days for our passengers and freight customers to keep as many people moving as we possibly can.”

Digital-Industrial Action CBYT 1000x1000px

Rail ‘strike day’ timetables outlined as passengers urged to plan ahead and only travel by rail if necessary

  • Coordinated industry contingency plan will see very limited timetable available on strike days with around 20% of services running
  • Trains will start later and finish much earlier than usual, between 7.30am and 6.30pm
  • Passengers asked to plan ahead, check before they travel, to expect disruption and only travel if necessary

The finishing touches are being made to a special railway timetable that will be in operation across England, Scotland and Wales from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th June (inclusive). The special timetable, to be published on Friday, aims to offer the best service possible for passengers and freight users despite the unwarranted industrial action planned next week by the RMT union.

Thousands of specially trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step-in during the planned RMT walk-outs on 21st June, 23rd and 25th to keep vital services running, but as they are a fraction of the usual workforce, only a severely limited service will be available.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have. We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week despite the actions of the RMT.” 

Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days with a very limited service running on lines that will only be open from around 7.30am until 6.30pm.

Passengers who must travel are urged to plan ahead to ensure that they can complete their journeys within this window, with last services from London to Scotland, for example, leaving in the early afternoon.

Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “These strikes will affect the millions of people who use the train each day, including key workers, students with exams, those who cannot work from home, holidaymakers and those attending important business and leisure events.

“Working with Network Rail, our plan is to keep as many services running as possible, but significant disruption will be inevitable and some parts of the network will not have a service, so passengers should plan their journeys carefully and check their train times.

“Taxpayers have provided the equivalent of about £600 per household since covid and passenger numbers are still only at around 75% of pre pandemic levels. We need to bring rail up to date so that we attract more people back and take no more than our fair share from the public purse.

“We ask the RMT’s leadership to call off these damaging strikes and continue talks to reach a deal that is fair to staff and taxpayers, and which secures a bright, long-term future of our railways.”

On the days that follow the strikes (22nd, 24th and 26th June) the whole network will reopen but passengers should also expect disruption on these days as the strike days chosen have been designed to inflict as much disruption as possible, with not enough time between the strike days to fully recover to a normal service.

Further information for passengers is available on the National Rail website.

The special timetable will also ensure key freight services can continue to move around the country, minimising disruption for consumers and businesses and allowing vital goods to continue to be shipped where needed.

Avanti West Coast strongly advises customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on strike days

Avanti West Coast confirms issues travel advice ahead of national rail strikes. 

  • Avanti West Coast publishes amended timetable for national rail strike days
  • Customers who have to travel asked to expect disruption and plan ahead
  • Significantly reduced service means trains expected to be very busy, with shorter hours of operation, and less frequent services

Avanti West Coast is strongly advising customers to only travel if absolutely necessary on upcoming strike days as it prepares to operate a significantly reduced timetable.

The amended timetables for the first two strike days are being published today on Avanti West Coast’s website: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/plan-your-journey/strike. Further timetables will be published on that page in due course.

On strike days the intercity operator is running approximately 25% of its typical weekday timetable on Tuesday 21 and Thursday 23 June, and around a third of its typical Saturday timetable on 25 June, as part of the industry’s response to coordinated industrial action by the RMT union across train operators and Network Rail on those dates.

With fewer services running, trains are expected to be very busy, and customers are being strongly advised to only travel if absolutely necessary on a strike day. Customers are being advised to expect severe disruption and plan ahead if they do travel. The day after industrial action is also likely to be affected.

As part of its contingency plans, Avanti West Coast expects to run one train per hour from Euston to each of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Preston with a limited service to Glasgow.

These trains will operate during limited hours* – with the first train of the day departing Euston just before 8am and the last train of the day from Euston departing mid-afternoon.  

The significantly reduced timetable will mean North Wales, Shrewsbury, Blackpool and Edinburgh have no Avanti West Coast services on strike days (21, 23 and 25 June).

Customers who need to travel on strike days are advised to plan ahead, make a reservation when they are available and check the Avanti West Coast website and those of other train operators, before travelling.

Customers with tickets for travel from Tuesday 21 June to Sunday 26 June, can use those tickets anytime between now and Monday 27 June. Alternatively, a full refund can be claimed with no admin fees if you have tickets for Tuesday 21 June to Sunday 26 June.

Managing Director of Avanti West Coast, Phil Whittingham, said: “We are disappointed with the decision to go on strike, which we believe is premature and will cause untold misery for customers. We would urge the RMT not to press ahead with industrial action and to work with us on securing the long-term future for the rail service.

“We’ll be running an amended timetable on strike days with fully-trained staff onboard and at stations across our network for our customers, but we’ll be operating a significantly reduced service. As a result, our trains may be very busy and destinations will be served less frequently, if at all. We’re strongly advising customers to only travel where absolutely necessary on our route on strike days and instead make their journeys on alternative days or claim a full refund.

“We understand some people will have no choice but to travel and they should check our website for the latest updates before travelling. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our customers in advance for their patience.”

Due to the different signalling system in use on some parts of the West Coast Main Line, which is more resource-intensive to operate, the intercity operator is unable to stop trains at Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, as well as Runcorn, on strike days and these stations will not be open.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “We’re working hard with all train operators including Avanti West Coast to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week despite the actions of the RMT. If the damaging strikes go ahead as planned a special timetable will be in place.

“Thousands of trained and fully qualified back-up staff will step in during the planned RMT walk-outs. With a fraction of the usual workforce available, including signallers who safely move trains around the network, there will be a severely limited service, and many routes won’t be served at all. We’re asking passengers to plan ahead, follow the advice of their train operator and only consider travelling next week if it’s really necessary to do so.”

Avanti West Coast will also not serve Wilmslow due to operational reasons.

National Rail strike: Only travel if your journey is essential on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink between 21 and 26 June

  • RMT members of Network Rail and other train operators are striking 21, 23 and 25 June
  • Very few trains every day throughout 21-26 June inclusive – crowding expected
  • No service at all on many lines on strike days, with late starts and early finishes throughout
  • Those who attempt to travel should check first and last trains for their specific station

Passengers should only travel if absolutely necessary on Gatwick Express, Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink during next week’s strike by RMT members of Network Rail and other train operators.

Operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) warns there will be very few trains every day from the start of the industrial action, on 21 June, until Sunday 26 June inclusive with crowding expected, particularly on last trains and possible delays.

There will be no service at all on many lines on strike days (21, 23 and 25 June) (see map) and there will be late starts and early finishes – as early as late afternoon – throughout the period. See notes to editors for more details.

GTR has been in touch with schools, colleges and hospitals to notify them of the impact of the RMT strike action.

Although RMT members at GTR voted only for action short of a strike, the operator depends on Network Rail signallers and engineers to keep its trains moving, and its services connect with many lines and stations managed by other operators whose staff are taking action.

Angie Doll, Chief Operating Officer, Govia Thameslink Railway, said: 

“We’re sorry to say that people should only travel by rail between 21 and 26 June if absolutely necessary due to strike action by RMT members at Network Rail and other train companies. Unfortunately, there will be very few train services and some routes will be closed altogether on strike days.

“Services will start much later than normal and finish early. All this may lead to very busy trains and possible delays. Passengers should plan ahead and think about travelling at another time.

“Strikes are terrible for passengers, especially as the country is starting to recover from the pandemic and return to rail. We urge the RMT to work with Network Rail and train operators to find a swift solution.”

Network Rail Route Director Mark Killick said:

“We’re so sorry for the disruption next week and we know how difficult this will be for our customers so soon after the pandemic. We’ve trained 250 staff so we can keep some of the busiest lines open, focusing our resources on the routes that can keep the largest numbers of customers and freight moving and serving vital locations such as hospitals. That said, we will not compromise on safety and the strike does mean that large parts of the network will be closed.

“We are continuing to work with unions to find a solution and will keep doing so. But we also have to be honest and accept that we have to change the way we work, to reflect the changes in society and travel patterns post pandemic. Again, I’d like to apologise to everyone who find their journeys disrupted next week and urge our customers to check before they travel.”

South Western Railway announces strike timetable

South Western Railway announces strike timetable: SWR logo-2
  • Due to the planned national strike, SWR customers are urged only to travel by rail if absolutely necessary between 21 and 26 June 
  • SWR will run a severely reduced timetable on strike days (21, 23, 25 June), with significant parts of the network closed 
  • A severely limited service will run between 07:15 and 18:30 on some routes for those who have no choice but to travel 
  • SWR will run a late-starting Sunday level of service across the network on 22, 24 and 26 June

South Western Railway (SWR) is urging customers only to travel by rail if absolutely necessary on the planned strike days – Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June – and throughout that week.  

Customers should expect severe disruption and, if they have to travel, should seek to do so by other means.  

This comes as SWR published their strike day timetable, which will provide a very limited service on the routes Network Rail have made available. The reduced timetable will see significant parts of the network closed entirely and those trains that are running will be far less frequent compared to normal.   

Network Rail and more than 2,100 SWR RMT members are set to take strike action on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June, causing severe disruption. Network Rail will provide contingency cover for critical roles including electrical control room operators, signallers, maintenance and response teams, but will not be able to cover the whole day. 

SWR’s reduced timetable will run from 07:15 to 18:30 on the three strike days, and will consist of:  

  • Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Windsor via Hounslow 
  • Two semi-fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Basingstoke  
  • Four trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Woking 
  • Two fast trains per hour in each direction between Waterloo and Southampton 

NB – Trains will not stop at all stations on these routes. 

Island Line services will not be affected by the industrial action 

There will be no SWR services across the rest of the network. 

Significant disruption is also expected on Wednesday 22, Friday 24 and Sunday 26 June, when the network will not be operational before 07:30 and a Sunday level of service will operate throughout the day.  

South Western Railway’s Managing Director, Claire Mann, said:  

“The sheer scale of this planned industrial action severely limits the number of trains we can run and routes we can serve, which is reflected in the reduced timetable we have published today.  

“With this disruption set to be so considerable, I regretfully urge customers to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary between Tuesday 21 and Sunday 26 June.

“I am sorry these strikes will cause such disruption and am grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding as the rail industry works to bring this damaging nationwide action to an end.” 

Network Rail route director Mark Killick said:

“We’re so sorry for the disruption next week and we know how difficult this will be for our customers so soon after the pandemic. We’ve trained 250 staff so we can keep some of the busiest lines open, focussing our resources on the routes that can keep the largest numbers of customers and freight moving and serving vital locations such as hospitals. That said, we will not compromise on safety and the strike does mean that large parts of the network will be closed.

“We are continuing to work with unions to find a solution and will keep doing so. But we also have to be honest and accept that we have to change the way we work, to reflect the changes in society and travel patterns post pandemic. Again, I’d like to apologise to everyone who find their journeys disrupted next week and urge our customers to check before they travel.”

Customers are urged to check the SWR website for latest information at www.southwesternrailway.com/strike  

Northern advises customers DO NOT TRAVEL during the week of RMT industrial action

Northern Train 2022

Northern Trains is asking customers not to travel on its services between 21 – 26 June because of industrial action by the RMT

The whole of the rail network is affected by strikes, planned for Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June.

Northern is currently working with Network Rail to agree what services it can run with the industry prioritising essential routes on mainlines and routes in to major cities.

Therefore, the train operator is expecting to run a very limited timetable and is suggesting customers do not travel on the strike dates and, wherever possible, not to travel on those in-between as well. Customers should try to find alternative transport if their journey is essential.

Details of the services able to run will be released as soon as possible to customers. They are advised to visit northernrailway.co.uk/travel/strikes for the latest advice and information.

The timing of the strike action has a knock-on effect on the days in-between with disruption of operations, the displacement of their trains across the network and shift patterns.

In response to the RMT announcing strikes, Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “Our ability to get customers where they want to be will be significantly impacted and our advice, regrettably, is simply not to travel during the week of strike action.

“We apologise in advance for the disruption and inconvenience that the RMT’s industrial action may cause. We continue to be keen to speak to the RMT to find a resolution and avoid any strikes.”

Northern usually runs nearly 2,000 services a day to 540 stations across the North of England.

Only travel if necessary and expect severe disruption, GWR warns as RMT strikes set to impact trains all week

Significantly reduced timetable announced, with only 30% of services operating on strike days

Train operator GWR has announced its planned timetable to operate next week as industrial action by the RMT union at train operators across the industry and Network Rail is expected to severely affect services from 21 to 25 June.

GWR is warning people to expect severe disruption and to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary.

GWR will operate as many trains as possible during the strike action however, most train services will be affected on the days announced. Due to the timing of the strike action, services in between strike days will also be affected.

On strike days the operator is aiming to provide about 30% of its usual timetabled services, and about 50% on non-strike days.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“We very much welcome the opportunity to continue to talk with the RMT to avert strike action. Any strike will impact on customers’ journeys and can only damage the post-covid recovery everyone at GWR has been working to win back, while at the same time making it more difficult to deliver the changes we need to secure jobs and services for the future. 

“I’m hopeful the RMT will step back, however colleagues have been working hard to put contingency plans in place and give certainty to customers who need to travel. The priority will be to keep trains running and customers moving safely, but changes will be needed to allow that to happen and customers may wish to alter their plans.” 

Where trains are able to run, they are expected to be extremely busy and replacement bus services are not able to be provided.

On the days of strike action, 21, 23 and 25 June, GWR expects to only be able to operate services along the following routes and stations:

GWR Strike services operating

On days when strike action is not taking place GWR expects to be able to operate the following reduced, service:

GWR Intermediate days strike services operating

Online journey checkers are expected to be updated with the latest timetable information on the following dates:

DateStrike/non-dayTimetable Publication Date
Monday 20 JuneNon-strike dayThursday 16 June
Tuesday 21 JuneStrike dayThursday 16 June
Wednesday 22 JuneNon-strike dayFriday 17 June
Thursday 23 JuneStrike dayThursday 16 June
Friday 24 JuneNon-strike dayFriday 17 June
Saturday 25 JuneStrike dayTuesday 21 June
Sunday 26 JuneNon-strike dayTuesday 21 June

Customers who have already purchased tickets can claim a full refund or can amend their ticket; those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to delay repay compensation if they are delayed by 15 mins or more. Season ticket holders can apply for compensation through the Delay Repay scheme.

To help customers, GWR is allowing people with tickets for travel on strike days to be able to travel on the day before and up to two days after. 

Our Refund and Book with Confidence policies will remain in place and we will update this page with more information if the current situation changes.


RMT calls for face to face meeting with Shapps

Rail union RMT has called for a face-to-face meeting with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to avert strike action on the rail network next week.

The railways will be shut down for 3 days on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, when workers from Network Rail and 13 train operating companies take to picket lines across the country in a row over pay and job losses.

In a letter to Grant Shapps, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch says it has become clear that the Treasury is “calling the shots” and is not allowing rail employers to reach a negotiated settlement with the union.

Mr Lynch writes: “I am writing to seek an urgent meeting with the government, without any pre-conditions, to discuss the national rail disputes prior to the planned strike action next week and I would be grateful if this could be arranged without delay. As you will be aware both this year and last year, meetings have taken place under the Rail Industry Recovery Group (RIRG).

“…it has become obvious in our discussions with employers since the RMT ballot result that the government is retaining control over the conduct of negotiations with the RMT, and the Treasury in particular is calling the shots.”

“In effect in recent weeks the union has been negotiating with the government, but the government have not been in the room.

“I am now therefore calling for a meeting with you and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. I also note the government have decided to have a parliamentary debate on the dispute today. So, as well as speaking at the despatch box about the dispute, I hope you will be able to speak to me directly about resolving the dispute.”


TransPennine Express asks customers only to make essential journeys during week of RMT strike action

TransPennine Express (TPE) is calling on its customers to think carefully about their travel options and to only make essential journeys during planned RMT strike action next week.

The union has announced industrial action on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23, and Saturday 25 June and, with an amended timetable in place, TPE is warning the very few services it is able to run each day will be extremely busy. There will also be significant disruption to services on days either side of the strike action.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TransPennine Express said: “Due to the RMT action we will only be able to operate around 10 per cent of our usual daily services. Alongside other operators, we simply won’t be able to provide journeys for the tens of thousands of customers who would normally rely on us and any services we are able to run will be extremely busy.

“Therefore, we’re asking our customers to think carefully about their travel across the whole of next week and to only make essential journeys by rail. People should, where possible, consider alternative modes of transport.”

On the days of RMT strike action, TPE will operate a small number of services on just four routes (Newcastle – Edinburgh, Sheffield – Cleethorpes, Manchester Airport – Preston and Manchester Piccadilly – York), with the vast majority of its managed stations closed with no rail or replacement service available for customers.

Kathryn added: “We will do all we can to provide the best possible service for our customers, but with the limited timetable and trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual we need all our customers to plan essential journeys carefully.

“It’s extremely disappointing that RMT has chosen to take strike action which will not only cause significant disruption for our customers, but will also damage the recovery of the rail industry.

“Like many other industries, rail is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic and the latest strikes – which follow almost five months of industrial action by RMT – only serve to put this recovery at risk.

“We remain open for talks with the union, but any talks must be realistic, affordable and take into account the context of the environment in which the rail industry is now operating.”

Customers who need to make essential journeys should visit the TPE website (www.tpexpress.co.uk) or National Rail Enquiries for the latest timetables and information.

Anyone planning journeys should check carefully, up to the last minute, as there is potential for delays and further cancellations. Bikes will not be permitted onboard TPE services on strike days.

Customers strongly encouraged not to travel on 21 June, ahead of week of travel disruption across TfL and national rail services

TfL Press Release - Customers strongly encouraged not to travel on 21 June, ahead of week of travel disruption across TfL and national rail services: TfL Image - London Underground Roundel

  • On Tuesday 21 June, the RMT and Unite unions are planning 24-hours of strike actionTfL expects severe disruption or no service on all Underground lines
  • Customers are strongly encouraged not to travel on TfL services on 21 June and before mid-morning on Wednesday 22 June, unless absolutely necessary
  • Strike action on national rail services is also taking place on 21 June and will impact London Underground, Overground and Elizabeth line services from 21 to 26 June.
  • Further strike action will also impact national rail services until 26 June. Plan ahead and check before you travel
  • Strike action has been called despite there being no proposals to change pensions and no job losses

Transport for London (TfL) is strongly encouraging people not to travel on Tuesday 21 June and early on Wednesday 22 June, unless absolutely necessary, due to planned industrial action being taken by the RMT and Unite unions. This comes ahead of a week of travel disruption across the country, which will impact London Underground, Overground and Elizabeth line services between 21 and 26 June.

TfL expects severe disruption or no service on all London Underground lines on Tuesday 21 June if the strike action goes ahead, with no services running before 08:00 on Wednesday 22 June. Customers are encouraged to avoid making journeys on 22 June until mid-morning.

If customers cannot avoid travelling on 21 June, they should expect severe disruption or no service on the Tube, and plan ahead and leave more time for journeys. Customers using any Underground services that are running are advised to complete their journey by 18:00. Bus services will be extremely busy. For the latest information on how TfL services are operating, please use TfL’s real-time travel tools, including status updates, Journey Planner and TfL Go. Travel advice for the strike action is available at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike.

Services that are running on 21 June, including buses and DLR, are likely to be extremely busy with queues to board. Customers using DLR services from stations also served by London Underground are advised to check before they travel due to possible station closures for safety reasons. Walking or cycling may be quicker for some journeys and planning tools are available to plan walking journeys. Santander Cycles will be available, with teams ensuring that bikes are distributed at key locations according to demand. Rental e-scooters are also available to hire in some London boroughs.

The RMT and Unite’s action on Tuesday 21 June coincides with RMT strike action across national rail services on the same day, limiting alternative travel options. There are further strikes planned on national rail services on Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June, which will impact parts of the TfL network and mean customers connecting with national rail services should check before they travel. 

There will be a reduced service on the London Overground and Elizabeth line on the days when strike action is planned – 21, 23 and 25 June – due to the national rail strike and its impacts on shared track and assets. The London Overground will run a reduced service between 07:30-18:30 on these days. On Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June, London Underground will operate as much of the network as possible, However, disruption is expected from Queen’s Park to Harrow & Wealdstone on the Bakerloo line, on the Richmond and Wimbledon branches of the District line, on the Waterloo & City line, and on the Elizabeth line. There is also the potential for disruption due to the strike impacting London Underground staff availability, meaning customers should still check before they travel.

Disruption from the national rail strike will continue to affect customers on the mornings when no strike action is planned, so on Wednesday 22, Friday 24 and Sunday 26 June. London Underground customers using sections of lines affected by national rail strike action are encouraged to avoid making journeys until mid-morning on each of these days.

In addition, continued RMT strike action on Night Tube services is planned on the evening of 24 and 25 June. Despite this strike action, TfL is running a good service on the Victoria line and a regular service on the Jubilee line, with at least three trains per hour. There’s also a regular service on the Central line with at least two trains per hour through central London.

Andy Lord, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “I want to apologise to customers who will be impacted by the RMT and Unite’s strike action next week. The action on 21 June, taking place at the same time as the national rail strike, will have a severe impact on the London Underground network, resulting in very little to no service on all lines, which is why we’re encouraging people to avoid travel unless completely necessary, as the majority of Tube stations will be closed and services not running.

“Alternatives to the Tube are likely to be much busier than usual and we expect the severe disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of Wednesday 22 June. I’m very sorry for the impact this will have on people’s journeys.

“This strike is particularly frustrating as it comes so soon after industrial action earlier this month, no changes have been proposed to pensions and nobody has or will lose their job as a result of the proposals we have set out. We’re urging the RMT and Unite to call off this strike and to work with us to find a resolution and avoid the huge disruption this action will cause to people’s journeys and to our economic recovery.”

This disruptive action comes as part of separate disputes with both the RMT, over pensions, jobs and conditions, and with Unite over pay. This is despite the fact no proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals TfL has set out. TfL met the RMT and Unite unions at the conciliation service ACAS this morning and, although no resolution was reached, is keen to take part in further talks in the hope that this strike can be called off. Pay talks with Unite and other recognised unions in the area are due to start imminently.

As part of previous funding agreements, the Government has required TfL to work towards achieving financial sustainability on its operations by April 2023. This means TfL must speed up its pre-pandemic savings programme. As part of this, TfL has been engaging with its trade unions and staff to seek their views on how it can make London Underground more efficient and financially sustainable, while continuing to deliver the highest standards of safety, reliability and customer service. TfL has committed to its staff and trade unions that the safety of staff and customers will always remain paramount and the changes will protect as many jobs as possible for the people who work for TfL today, allowing more flexibility to adapt to changing customer requirements.

TfL has proposed not recruiting into around 500 to 600 posts as they become vacant – including 250 currently unfilled Tube station posts. London Underground stations will remain staffed at all times while trains are operating, with more than 4,500 station staff available across the network to assist customers and keep them safe, supplemented by enforcement teams and police. This will bring staffing levels in line with customer need while protecting as many jobs as possible. TfL is urging the RMT to work with it to find a resolution and avoid the disruption and damage another strike will cause to London and the economy.

Further information will be available ahead of, and during, the strikes on TfL’s website as well as on Journey Planner and TfL Go.  

Catch up from the news rooms


From Monday 6 July, TransPennine Express (TPE) will be increasing the amount of services run in their amended timetable. This further step up in services provides extra capacity on the network for customers who are travelling by rail.

Although there is this increase in the numbers of services being run, there will continue to be restrictions on capacity to help enable social distancing. Seat markers are on board all TPE services indicating what seats are available for customers to sit at.

Customers who are using public transport, including TPE services, should also be wearing a face covering – unless they are in one of those groups who are exempt from doing so, which include children under the age of 11, people with disabilities and those who suffer from breathing difficulties.

Other precautions are being taken to protect customers from Covid-19 (coronavirus) at such as increasing cleaning at turnaround locations, making sure that crew areas are cleaned so our staff can work safely, and focusing on cleaning those areas that people are more likely to touch.

From Monday 4 July, TPE will generally be running the following services. However, customers should continue to check before they travel:

  • Hourly service between Liverpool and Newcastle
  • Hourly service between Hull and Manchester Piccadilly
  • Hourly stopping service between Leeds and Huddersfield
  • Hourly stopping service between Manchester Piccadilly and Huddersfield
  • Hourly service between Manchester Airport and Redcar Central
  • Hourly service between Cleethorpes and Manchester Piccadilly
  • Two-hourly service between Manchester Airport and Edinburgh
  • Shuttle service between York and Scarborough

Additionally, there will be limited TPE services between Newcastle and Edinburgh along with Glasgow Central to Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport.

For the latest up to date information, please visit our website: https://www.tpexpress.co.uk/travel-updates/corona-virus-travel-info

Improvement work to start at Ipswich station

A new shop and upgraded toilet facilities are part of £3m of improvements planned for Ipswich railway station.

Work is due to start this month on a scheme to relocate the ticket office, install more ticket machines, create space for a new shop, refurbish and relocate the toilets and upgrade staff facilities.

At the same time, the station will be rewired to provide modern, sustainable lighting and power.

The work is the second and final phase of a project to improve the station for customers.

Three years ago, Greater Anglia invested £2 million in a host of improvements including a complete refurbishment of the existing foyer and ticket hall to create more space during busy periods, the creation of a large airport-style waiting room as well as more comfortable seats with plug points for charging electronic devices

Additional ticket machines were installed and more shops and retail outlets including Starbucks and Greggs opened at the station.

The station forecourt was revamped, in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council with a much-improved layout, including better walking routes for pedestrians, improved bus interchange facilities and better segregation of access between taxis and drop off/meet and greet facilities

Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia’s Asset Management Director, said: “We’re pleased to be starting the final phase of work at Ipswich station.

“There will be minimal impact to customers while the work takes place. It is due to be completed next summer.

“Last year, around 3.5 million people used the station, so we’re pleased to improve facilities for customers who are currently travelling and those who will travel again in the future.”

Government advice currently is to avoid public transport unless you cannot travel another way.

Face coverings should be worn on Greater Anglia stations and trains.

Watford Junction forecourt improvements under way

A project to enhance the forecourt at the entrance to Watford Junction station is under way.

The scheme, being run by Watford Borough Council, will include the installation of large freestanding letters spelling out ‘WATFORD’ (below) to encourage photography and social media usage.

It will see the forecourt transformed into a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment with more open space, plants, paving, lighting, seating and the start of a new heritage trail.

A bike-share bay is also being installed at the front of the station to encourage passengers to cycle into the town centre. The ‘Beryl’ scheme already has 70 bays across Watford.

This project marks the beginning of a series of works at the station, including improvements to the concourse due to be carried out by Network Rail next year.

Sarah Higgins, head of stations for London Northwestern Railway, said:

“Watford Junction is one of our busiest and most popular stations and I am delighted that this project will enhance the approach to the stations for the millions of passengers we cater for every year.”

Peter Taylor, elected Mayor of Watford, said:

“Eight million people a year travel through Watford Junction and I am really excited to kickstart these works to bring our station into the 21st Century. This will make the station forecourt a more welcoming and interesting place and will be a much better first impression for people coming to our town.”

Tina Barnard, from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“We are delighted to help kickstart the transformation of Watford Junction station, which will provide the modern facilities needed to support a long term modal shift towards public transport.”

In order to facilitate the improvements, bike parking has been moved from the forecourt to a secure 300-capacity bike parking facility in a nearby lane just off the car park entry road.

For more details on the scheme visit www.watford.gov.uk/majorprojects

Prizes up for grabs as teenagers in Worcestershire urged to keep off railway tracks

Prizes up for grabs as teenagers in Worcestershire urged to keep off railway tracks

Teenagers in Worcestershire are being invited to get creative to help to warn others about the dangers of trespassing on the railway – and win prizes along the way.

The Backtrack campaign has been launched by the Community Rail Network following a 25% surge in the number of trespass incidents across the country during the national lockdown.

The Worcestershire Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and West Midlands Railway are urging children aged between 11 and 18 to take part in the campaign by creating a video, song, rap or storyboard which shares the anti-trespassing message.

Six national winners of the competition will receive a state-of-the-art GoPro camera, while anyone living in Worcestershire will also be entered into prize draws to win music vouchers courtesy of the CRP.

Peter Chapman, from the Worcestershire CRP, said:

“Getting the anti-trespass message across to teenagers is so important, particularly at this time of lockdown easing.

“Our CRP is delighted to be able to support locally this national initiative from the Community Rail Network.”

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said:

“Trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous. It causes thousands of hours of delays every year and can result in serious injury or death. The penalty for going on the railway is a fine of up to £1,000.

“I am pleased to support this campaign by Worcestershire CRP and the wider Community Rail Network and I look forward to seeing the creative efforts of our young passengers.”

Entries are open now until September 30. Videos must be recorded from the entrant’s home or garden – not near the railway – and must not contain any violence.

For more information on the national campaign click here and for more on the Worcestershire competition visit the CRP website here.

Transport for Wales update for public transport users

Transport for Wales (TfW) is issuing a clear update to all public transport users following changes in advice from UK and Welsh governments, urging people to only use public transport for essential travel and where there are no other travel alternatives.

This Saturday will see some pubs reopen in England. In addition from Monday in Wales the rules will change to allow people from two separate households to form one exclusive, extended household. Monday will also see the end of the five-mile ‘stay local’ guidance. 

It is anticipated these changes might encourage more journeys, so TfW are reinforcing the message that public transport should be used for essential travel only. This is to ensure there is enough space for key workers and those with no alternative option to continue to travel safely.

TfW has already introduced additional safety measures in their stations and on trains including social distancing, one-way systems, additional cleaning and is encouraging people to follow government advice regarding face coverings. 

They are also piloting a ‘capacity checker’ that will allow transport users to plan their journeys based on how busy trains are. This is early on in its development and will be improved gradually over the coming weeks.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said:

“The safety of our colleagues and customers has, and will always be, our top priority.

“Covid-19 is an evolving situation and over the next week there are important changes in advice from UK and Welsh governments.  However, we need to reinforce our travel safer campaign highlighting that public transport is for essential travel and where there are no other travel alternatives.

Transport for Wales is also updating its timetable based on potential changes in the number of people travelling and is encouraging people to check their journey in advance by visiting www.tfwrail.wales.